The Movie Snob declines to be assimilated
X-Men: First Class (B). The Borg Queen panned this movie a few weeks ago (see her review here), but I have to disagree. As everyone knows, this is a prequel about the origins of the mutants and Charles Xavier’s school for same. First, we get a quick look at the childhoods of two of the first mutants, the telepath Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Becoming Jane) and the metal-manipulating Erik Lensherr a/k/a Magneto (Michael Fassbender, Centurion). Flash forward to the early 1960s, when the CIA becomes aware that sinister forces seem to be driving both the United States and the Soviet Union towards a nuclear confrontation. The ubiquitous Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) plays the savvy CIA agent who discovers that those sinister forces are evil mutants, and she seeks the aid of Xavier (at first not knowing he is a mutant himself). I was surprised to see that Mystique (played here by Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone) is roughly the same age as Xavier, since she looks much younger than he in the later movies. Anyhoo, I thought the movie was generally a good ride. The X-Men movies in general seem to try harder to get at the humanity beneath the awesome superpowers. The movie has its shortcomings–it’s too long, some of the characters seem to switch sides with little or no motivation, and the Borg Queen is right that there is a gratuitous scene of a bunch of half-naked women. Also, I was annoyed when I sat through all the closing credits to see the usual final scene, only to discover that there wasn’t one. But on the whole the movie was definitely worth watching.